There are always two sides to every conflict.
There is always a third side to every conflict as well.
But each party (or sometimes all parties) have little to no interest in getting to that third side. They like the feelings that being in conflict gives them—righteousness, powerfulness, attention and validation.
The party who moves past these desires and feelings and who longs for resolution may never achieve it with the other party. This can lead to feelings of frustration and sometimes even giving up altogether on the process of resolving the conflict.
There are a few things for the party that’s ready to remember, when addressing a party who’s not ready:
- Forcing the conflict towards resolution disempowers the party who’s ready and empowers the party who’s not. It’s the same concept as the one behind forcing a screw into a hole where it doesn’t belong. The screw doesn’t fit, the person who’s forcing it gets more frustrated, the hole gets stripped (or broken) and nothing changes.
- Before being at peace with the other party (the one who’s no ready) be at peace with yourself. Self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and spiritual growth are all required for the next step.
- Be patient. The most unused resource in our world today is rock-ribbed patience. Ghandi had it, his followers didn’t. Jesus had it, his followers didn’t. Those are just two examples, but the point is, sometimes waiting on the other party to change involves just that—doing what you need to do to attain peace with yourself first and letting the other party do whatever it is that they are going to do.
Empowerment through patience, wisdom and personal diligence does not come overnight, nor is it a “get resolution quick” scheme. But it’s rewarding and life affirming, whether or not the resolution that comes about is the one that either party expected.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org